Cop Land is a police drama about a small town populated mainly by big city cops who are covering something up, and the lone sheriff who is willing to fight for justice. Sylvestor Stallone plays that sheriff in a definitely different role than he is used to; in Cop Land, he is slightly overweight, weak-minded (at least to start off), and doesn't bare his muscles once. He is the normal donut-eating sheriff, and Stallone by no means is the Rambo-type hero.
Paraded by an all-star cast, Cop Land overflows with excellent performances. Stallone delivers his best performance in years and joining him are the likes of Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, and a dozen others. The good script didn't help.
The story deals with Sheriff Freddy Heflin, a small-time cop who looks up to his townspeople as idols but finally comes to realize that they aren't all they're cracked up to be. He, of course, finally stands up for himself and the truth, even if it means risking his life. Unlike other Stallone movies, Cop Land takes a different approach to getting to the climax. For most of the movie, Stallone mopes around and lets the big city cops do whatever they want, but when he finally decides to do something about the situation that is going on, he goes after the key evidence that can turn everything around. There were only two disappointments to the story: First off, the cops don't deny it in the least when Stallone confronts them about their crime, nor does anyone else. And second, the ending shows that the screenwriters just couldn't keep a big shooting scene from the film. Luckily, the director, using Stallone's sudden deafness, introduces an interesting style to the scene.
Cop Land is a riveting and well played out drama. The ending is a little on the shallow side but still a good wrap up to the movie, and Stallone should be congratulated on his change of venue for once.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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